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Moving from a VMware server 2.0 to Hyper-V or ESXi

Right now I have a enviroment that consist of 1 server running VMWare Server 2.0. On this box are a DC, File Server, Print Server, and 2 XP Pro virtualized machines.

The server specs are as followed:

Supermicro X7DB8
2 Intel(R) Xeon (R) E5410 Processors
8 gigs of Ram
4 HD totalling 1.5 TB in Raid 1

I have been looking into Hyper-V, and ESXi to replace the host os which is currently running Server 2008.

The VMWare Server is currently operating in a live eniviroment, and I am looking for to transfer to one of these hypervisors.
I would like to keep the enviroment as simple as possible, which leads me to the Hyper-V. Alot of our techs are not filmilar with Linux based commands or structure.

A couple of things i am lookign for are

1. Which hypervisor based on experenence would be recommended? ( Hyper-V or ESXi )
2.Best method of moving to the new platform? i.e moving the Vm's to another host, then installing the hypervisor on the current server, etc
3. Which provides the best backup methods without the need of additional hardware.
4 Which provides the best Web interface or administration console?


We were rushed when we setup the VMWare Server, and though it has not giving us any problems, we would like something more enterprise level without the additional cost. We would like to make sure we are taking the correct paths.


Thanks,
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Con366
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Con366
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kumarnirmalCommented:
I would recommend VMware ESXi since it only has a 32 MB footprint and can be managed using Virtual Infrastructure Client when compared to Hyper-V which needs a 64-Bit edition of WIndows Server 2008 to run underneath.

I also feel that future expansion would be more easy when using ESXi than Hyper-V

VMware also provides free tools like vConverter which enables you to convert VMs from one product to another, for example, a VM can be converted from Workstation to VMware ESX free of cost.

For your Virtual Machine Backup, I suggest that you look into this product - http://www.trilead.com/Products/VM_Explorer/
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kumarnirmalCommented:
No prior Linux Knowledge is required in order to use ESXi
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Con366Author Commented:
What do you think would be the best method of moving over to ESXi.


Backup all the vm's to a central location, install esxi, then mmove them back?
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
The best method is actually the easiest method to move to ESXi.  The new vConverter 4.0 standalone is free and all you do is point to your current VMs and to the ESXi host.  The vConverter will migrate the VMs live, will sync any changes at the end and shutdown the original VMs and bring the new ones up. You'll need to re-apply the ip address on the nic and you're all set.  

You can also schedule for vConverter to do this during non business hours and it gives you the option to resize the volumes on your virtual harddrives to optimize your environment.

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Con366Author Commented:
I understand this, but the server that is currently runnign VMware server 2.0 is the same server we want to put ESXi on
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kumarnirmalCommented:
Since you are currently using VMware Server 2.0, you can use VMware vConverter which is a free download from VMware Website - http://www.vmware.com/products/converter/.

The best way of doing this is to power off all your VMs, convert them to ESXi compatible Virtual Machines and then install ESXi and move them back to ESXi Server.

Plan your downtime accordingly since you have mentioned that you are running a DC in the VMware Server 2.0.

How are you planning to backup your Virtual Machines ?
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Con366Author Commented:
Currently these is no real backup solution in place.

Currently the VM's and the host OS are located on the same partion.

I was under the impression that esxi had to be installed on a bare-metal setup.
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kumarnirmalCommented:
You are spot on.
The ESXi has to be installed on a bare-metal setup.

I suggest that if you do not have a backup method in place, the cheapest idea is to backup all VMs to a 2 TB USB Drive and then once the ESXi has been installed, migrate the VMs using vConverter 4.0.
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